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Mere Possession

Enough lying. It’s time to admit that Professor Joseph Spillane’s warning to Mexican Opium against touting “Drug Law Exceptionalism” in regards to racism in early drug law has deeply troubled this blog’s identity. No, don’t comfort me  – enough of the charade. I know that the 11 people who visited Mexican Opium the day after … Continue reading

Matthew Deady

This is Matthew Deady –  child of the state of Maryland by way of Irish parents, founding father of the state of Oregon by way of the Oregon Trail. Farmer, trained blacksmith, teacher, lawyer, legislator, President of the Oregon Constitutional Convention, patron of the Multnomah County Library, former U.S. Territorial Judge and the first U.S. … Continue reading

“No Respecter of Persons”

It’s an odd complaint, but one of the things I dislike about doing historical research is that I get distracted from the history I’m after by the language that it comes in. I can’t focus on facts, because I get lost in the words. The difference between everyday language circa 1900 and everyday language circa … Continue reading

America’s First Drug Law

On November 15, 1875, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a landmark ordinance banning opium dens in the City. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle’s report of the event. The Chronicle article cites the threat of Chinese opium den operators snagging white people as the main motivation behind the ordinance. This is generally regarded as the … Continue reading